chaos but a series of paradoxes that exist in the society due to historical events and
In this case it is tied historically to the patriarchal system of slavery which
represents levels of hierarchy yet is also based on relations and intimate contact, two
opposing forces, the closeness of family ties and dependency, yet the distance between
slave and master.
Paternalistic relationships, a common element in Brazilian society and
organizations, are defined as situations where a “father” (superior) controls and makes
demands on subordinates in an economic relation, yet also treats the subordinates in a
nice way and protects them on a personal basis.
These types of relationships are very
specific to Latin American cultures and distinguishes them from non-Latin American
Borges de Freitas connects relationships in today’s work world with the colonial
patriarchal relationships of the master where the slave worker was not only a tool to get
work done but also a soul for which the master had a moral responsibility to save.
Along with these traditions of hierarchy and paternalism exist the importance of
closeness and warmth in relationships which may be tied to Buarque de Holanda’s
description of Brazilian’s and their contribution to civilization as their status of being the
(kind and cordial person).
He describes the warmth, hospitality and
friendliness of Brazilians as a definite personality trait and need for intimate
He cites examples of Brazilian customs suggesting intimacy such as the
use of the first name in most social settings, the frequent use of the diminutive
the informal and popular treatment Catholic saints.
In a society as hierarchical as Brazil, the inequality between groups has